Sunday, August 8, 2021

Green !

Corona de Tucson

August 8, 2021


...makes you feel optimistic and refreshed and symbolizes new beginnings.  The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of the color green is nature.  Our neighborhood  has made a dramatic change from brown to green in the past few weeks. Of course along with all the green comes the aggravation of mosquitoes...a small price to pay for rain.

There were four coyotes in this pack.  We only got a glimpse of their back and head as they strolled past our yard.

Last week was one of those crazy weeks.  Sunday and Monday were gorgeous with early morning walks.  Monday we checked annual wellness exams and bloodwork off the list, ran errands and prepared for the rest of the week.  We were up bright and early Tuesday as we both had appointments for MOHs surgery.  We spent nearly the whole day at the dermatologist.  My surgery went well as I only had to have two cuts done before I was stitched.  Joe on the other hand had two basal cell carcinomas on his nose (one on the bridge and one on the base).  After three cuts on each place, he was bandaged and we went home. (There is a limit to how much medicine can be injected to numb the area being worked on.)  We returned on Thursday...he had two more cuts on the base of his nose and one more cut on the bridge and then another cut in front of his ear for skin to graft on his nose was done.  Needless to say, Tylenol and antibiotics have been indispensable the past few days.  He feels much better today. 

On an average, we eat salads for dinner 5 nights a week.  Joe doesn't complain too much, but after the week he has had...   

I couldn't help myself yesterday.  I made a pecan pie.  A hard week deserves a nice treat !  

This past April, Joe and I chose to work on some storage projects.  The house door in the garage enters the laundry room...its not really like a room as it's just big enough for the washer and dryer.  

Joe added a second shelf...

and I organized stuff !  

And I scored my own she space in the garage complete with shelves and a louvered door. 

We also worked really hard to install shelves and cabinets in the garage for Joe.

Joe has lots of nice space to store things out of sight in the smaller single car garage.  We also painted the double car and single car garage.     

The saga of feeding the birds continues and is heavy on my heart.  The most recent disappointment is the hummingbird feeder.  It seems Mexican Long-Tongued Bats love the nectar as much as the hummers. For several days I filled the feeders and found them dry the next morning.   

Photo from Google
I had noticed bats flying in the yard...not a bad thing if they are eating mosquitoes I thought...and Joe did some research.  There is an ongoing study in the Southern Arizona area to monitor hummingbird feeders to collect data about these bats.  

On a brighter note, we had babies visit the yard.  
Perfectly camoflouged...

We have seen Gamble's Quails with their chicks several times since spring, but the camera was never handy.  I finally got a few pictures...not real good ones unfortunately...through the window.  I counted six babies with their mom and dad. 

The male and female mate for life and are very responsible for their chicks.     

Aren't they just the cutest little babies?  I read that just before they hatch, the mama calls to the chicks who cheep to each other from inside the eggs.  The eggs hatch in synchrony.  Chicks are covered in dense down when they hatch and immediately are able to leave the nest and follow their parents.  

And this distinguished bird continues to stay close by...

Sharp-shinned Hawk...we have seen him several times !

Arizona poppies, as well as several other wildflowers, are in full bloom these days.  

It doesn't take much to put a smile on my face and these beauties do it every time !

That about sums up life here in Vail this week.  Until next time, 

A Cactus Wren nest...

        HAPPY TRAILS !


  1. A great update!!! Joe sure did a great job with the She Shelves in the garage.
    Fun pics of the quail family, but what to do about those raiding bats?

    1. Thank you Jeff. One can never have too many places to put stuff. I’m thinking I will take down the hummingbird feeder and cover it with a bucket…just something else to remember to do…🤪.

  2. Wonderful to get those projects done - the shelves will fill up fast :-) I love seeing all the green in the desert this year, we needed the rain so badly. Your chicks are darling! Beautiful poppies, they definitely put a smile on my face too.

    1. Thank you Jodee! We had another storm last night with a good chance of more rain today…if only we could send some to help out with all the wildfires. It’s really nice after 9 years in the MH to go to Costco and the grocery store and buy in bulk. And it’s nice to come home and have somewhere to put things away.

  3. My neighbor brings in their hummingbird feeder at night so the bats don't drain them dry.

    1. I’m thinking I will take them down and cover them with a bucket on the patio… and fingers crossed that works. I always spill the nectar everytime I move them.

  4. Whew!! That was a whole lot of cuts on poor Joe! We head in on Friday to see how many cuts Mike will have. Love your green and the poppies! I would love to feed the birds but that isn't an option living out in the country in AZ. Knock on wood, I've never had bats at my Montana hummingbird feeders. It's 48 degrees here this morning, we had 3/10ths of rain and the skies are more clear than they have been in weeks!!

    1. Hope Mike fairs better than Joe….🤞. I hope you get lots and lots more rain in the days to come. I do love those cool mornings with a blanket and coffee on the patio…doesn’t happen too often here. The bats are definitely an added aggravation, but they do eat insects also and are great pollinators so I can’t complain too much. The Mexican Long-Tongued Bats are the only bats we found that can actually drink from the feeder. We had bat houses in our GA yard and loved seeing them at night. We will adapt!

  5. What a week you two had especially poor Joe. Yes, a pecan pie was just what the doctor ordered:) Hope the pie helped Joe forget a little of his discomfort. The baby quail are so darn cute. Our neighbor throws seed up on the bank behind our houses over the wall. We have so many quail families. The little ones come barreling over the hill stumbling along to keep up with dad leading the way. You got some great photos. Boy, you sure are green. Too bad that green brings mosquitoes and humidity. Darn! We see very little rain here but did have five days of monsoon humidity a week ago with a couple rains and that was enough east coast memory for me. The poppies are so pretty. Great work on your shelving and closets!

  6. Thanks Pam. Things are finally coming together. Hopefully all the doctor stuff will be over soon and we can do some exploring and hiking. I can’t think of anywhere else I would rather be.